New waste management obligations in real estate and infrastructure development sector

The second half of 2023 brought about significant changes to the Serbian waste management regulations affecting the real estate and infrastructure developers.

  • The approval to the waste management plan is a prerequisite to construction permit

The new Decree on Manner and Procedure for Management of Construction and Demolition Waste (Uredba o načinu i postupku upravljanja otpadom od građenja i rušenja) requires that producers of construction and demolition waste (subject to some narrow exceptions) prepare a waste management plan and obtain an approval of that plan from the competent authority as a prerequisite to the issuance of construction permit.

Interestingly, the rulebook on Integrated Procedure for Issuance of Construction Permit (Pravilnik o postupku sprovođenja objedinjene procedure elektronskim putem) does not enlist the approval of the waste management plan among documents that have to be enclosed to the application for issuing the construction permit. Nevertheless, the decree is superior to the rulebook so the authorities in charge of the issuance of construction permit will have to require an approval to the waste management plan. Accordingly, investors should make sure they have the waste management plan prepared and approved in time in order to avoid delays in an already notoriously slow construction permitting process.

  • Document on the movement of (hazardous) waste is a prerequisite for the usage permit

The amendments of the Planning and Construction Act which entered into force in August 2023, condition the issuance of usage permit with the presentation of a document on movement of waste or, as the case may be, hazardous waste. The possession of such movement document had been an obligation even before the amendments, but was elevated to a condition for the issuance of usage permit to ensure the enforcement of the obligation to have a movement document with each waste shipment. However, it remained unclear how many of movement documents need to be presented for the purpose of obtaining the usage permit. Namely, the more complex is the construction process, the more waste shipments and thus the more accompanying documents there will be. Since the authority issuing the usage permit should restrict itself to the examination of whether the request is formally complete, and should not inspect how many waste shipments were actually made during the construction phase of a project, arguably even the submission of a single waste movement document should suffice to satisfy this condition for the issuance of usage permit.

In any event, the requirement to accompany the application for the usage permit with movement document(s) is not yet fully applied in practice. Currently, only the authorities in Belgrade are strictly adhering to the new rules.


The described novelties in the waste management regulations have an important impact on the construction process and must be taken into account when calculating project time and costs.